Federal sentencing guidelines are strict and can have a lasting impact on all aspects of your life. If you were charged with a federal crime, you could face years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and other harsh repercussions, depending on the type of offense involved. Fortunately, an experienced Dallas federal criminal lawyer may be able to defend you.
Federal procedures are complex, and legal representation in federal court requires knowledge of different rules and laws than in state court. A skilled criminal defense lawyer who routinely handles federal cases may be crucial to your ability to overcome or minimize the charges against you.
Common Federal Criminal Charges
Federal criminal charges involve violations of U.S. laws, offenses that occur on federal property, or those relating to federal officials. They also commonly include crimes that occur in more than one state, involve the crossing of state lines, or are committed via electronic means. Federal criminal laws apply to all citizens nationwide and often carry harsher penalties than violations of similar state laws.
Federal government authorities investigate and prosecute some classes of criminal offenses more often than others. These offenses include white collar crimes, federal drug crimes, and child pornography cases. For knowledgeable legal representation on any of these federal charges, consider consulting a federal criminal lawyer in Dallas.
Federal Financial Crimes
Various federal criminal offenses fall within the category of “white collar” crimes. These crimes typically involve fraud or misrepresentations for personal financial gain by professionals, such as investment advisors, business people, government officials, or other persons in positions of trust. As an experienced federal criminal attorney in Dallas may attest, some of the more common examples of white collar crimes include the following:
- Fraud, such as insurance, health care, mortgage, and bank fraud
- Bribery and kickbacks
- Embezzlement and money laundering
- Cybercrimes, such as identity theft
Many federal white collar criminal offenses involve complex financial schemes and digital evidence, which can make investigations lengthy and intensive.
Federal Drug Offenses
Drug crimes involving large quantities of controlled substances may trigger prosecution in federal court. Federal prosecutors tend to be hard on those accused of drug offenses, including possession, trafficking, smuggling, manufacturing, and cultivation of drugs.
The level of charges and accompanying penalties for drug crimes depend in large part on the schedule and quantity of the drug. The federal government has classified controlled substances into Schedules I through V, based on the level of danger that the drug presents, its potential for misuse, its addictive qualities, and whether there is an acceptable medical use. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous and carry the potential for the harshest penalties, so charges involving Schedule I drugs often end up in federal court.
Federal RICO and Conspiracy Charges
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, is a powerful federal law that authorities often utilize to target organized crime syndicates and gangs. 18 U.S.C. §§1961-1968 identifies various white collar, drug, and violent criminal offenses that may result in RICO charges. When members of a criminal enterprise allegedly commit two or more of these offenses within ten years, RICO is likely to become a factor in the prosecution.
Common federal offenses that often include RICO charges are drug trafficking, money laundering, and fraud. Likewise, conspiracy to violate RICO is a chargeable offense based on an agreement between two or more persons, regardless as to whether they proceeded to commit the crime or not.
Call on a Dallas Federal Criminal Attorney for Advice
If you face federal charges, you may need a strong legal advocate with experience handling cases at this level. The stakes tend to be much higher in federal court, which underscores the need for skilled counsel. Appearing in court with a Dallas federal criminal lawyer by your side could make a difference in the outcome of your case. Call today for a consultation.